Finding fairhealth podcast
Episode 8- Nigel Hewett
An interview with Dr Nigel Hewett OBE
Nigel is a GP and set up the national charity Pathway, a model of integrated care providing patient centred care for the homeless. He is also a founding member of the homeless and inclusion health faculty providing education and a network of health professionals dedicated to supporting health in excluded groups across the U.K.
We hear about what got Nigel Hewett interested in vulnerable groups, particularly the homeless (8mins). He talks about the health services he has been involved in and run over the years to try and help with this important vulnerable group. He also talks about staff attitudes to the homeless, quality of care for these patients and how important it is to educate and support professionals early in their careers around this topic (7mins). Health professionals working with these groups can feel isolated and we discuss the importance of forming alliances with other health professionals and supporting each other (24mins). He gives some top tips for working with homeless patients (9mins) including ways of managing drug seeking behaviour (10m30s). He also suggests using warm, understanding and empathetic scepticism rather than cynicism. He gives some tips on negotiating too (22m30s).
Nigel outlines some of the problems homeless patients face when admitted to hospital (12m30s). He gives some suggestions of seemingly simple but often overlooked questions to ask homeless patients when they are admitted like ‘Do you have somewhere to go to on discharge?’ He talks about how pathway teams can take a multi-agency overview to both support and advocate for these patients while in hospital and before discharge.
We discuss the fact that the health of the homeless identifies emerging trends in health and the system (27mins), politics (28m20s), legislation (31m35s), housing (32m20s), picking your battles (35mins), and something that he feels is key to all of this, child poverty (41mins).
With years of experience working with marginalised groups, particularly homeless patients, both on a one to one and national level, Nigel gives us an insight into some of his learning along the way (39m20s) and how professionals working with vulnerable groups can protect and look after themselves (46m25s). We also hear about what is new on the horizon for Nigel and his team (50m40s).
Nigel gives such a great overview of the challenge of supporting and providing health care to vulnerable groups in the UK. We hope you enjoy our conversation.
Nigel’s one book (51mins 35s)